UPDATED: Monday, March 26, 7:08 p.m. Years of legal hassles - first over keeping chickens on his property, then over city code violations and finally over his foreclosure - came to an explosive end Monday afternoon when the Alpine Drive home of Andrew Wordes blew up while Fulton County Marshals were on the property to evict him.
Roswell Police Spokesman James McGee told Roswell Patch a body was found inside the home by firefighters, but could not confirm whether or not it was Wordes.
The home went up in flames following the explosion, which occurred just before 1 p.m. Fire Chief Ricky Spencer said the fire was put out just before 2:30 p.m., on Monday. He also said there were no injuries to emergency personnel, but could not give any further details about how the fire started, despite speculation by other media outlets. A full investigation could take anywhere from a few days up to several weeks until it's complete.
Police have not yet confirmed whether the explosion was an accident or intentional.
Wordes is known for his his long time legal battles with the city over having chickens on his Roswell property. He spent three months in the Roswell Detention Center in 2011 after Roswell Municipal Judge Maurice Hilliard revoked his probation for violating city codes when he graded his yard in an attempt to prevent flooding, he said. Wordes told Roswell Patch at the time that he had tried to meet all his obligations, but that the constant fighting and flooding of his property had taken a toll on his finances, leading up to his eviction.
A motion had been filed to prevent the foreclosure and was still pending at the time of the explosion, according to several sources.
A friend of Wordes, Lee Fleck, forwarded Roswell Patch an e-mail sent to him during the wee hours of Monday morning, prior to a 9:30 a.m. hearing Wordes had concerning his property.
"My biggest concern is that since Roswell police officers should be at my scheduled trial at 9:30 a.m., Roswell Police and the [Fulton County] Marshall may think I am going to be in court and attempt to execute the writ of possession thinking I am not home. I am going to make sure I am outside in the morning in case they come by. As soon as I hear you have the order I am going to go to my 9:30 ... court hearing. Please call me as soon as you know anything so I can get my butt to court," he wrote in the e-mail to his attorneys.
Assistant City Attorney Bob Hulsey told Roswell Patch in an e-mail that there were no current Roswell citations or court proceedings pending against Wordes.
"My understanding is that today's events were precipitated by an order of eviction by Fulton Magistrate Court," he wrote.
Roswell Patch will bring you more details as we receive them.